In 1997, Dounne developed the 'Willow Herbal Tea' initially for Zara, whose spine and hind legs became 'arthritic', causing frequent falls. The Vet confirmed that this was a common condition for dogs of her age (13) and even much younger. He prescribed 'mild steroid tablets' to reduce the stiffness and pain, but instead Zara became extremely ill, hot, sick and weak. Within 4 days she could not even walk.
During the same period, Dounne too was experiencing excruciating 'sciatica' pains in her legs and lower back, caused from a long standing injury to the base of the spine, and also 'repetitive strain' in both hands, caused from the extensive manual work involved in making our products. Her doctor prescribed strong pain-killers and anti-inflammatory drugs, but both were ineffective. Unable to stand or walk for more than 2 to 5 minutes, she was forced to sleep with a pillow between her knees to relieve some of the pressure, as the pain frequently woke her up. It became so intense that she feared permanent disability. As nothing worked, she was sent for examination by a Spinal Specialist who advised spinal fusion, lumbar puncture and a lifetime on strong pain-killers.
Unhappy with this recommendation, Dounne sort a second opinion from a more renowned specialist, who predicted her condition would not only worsen but possibly be crippled, if she took the above treatments. He diagnosed her condition as 'spondilytis' and advised a series of back strengthening exercises (swimming, walking, weights, massage and yoga) to strengthen her back and tone the muscles around the spine. She was further warned of the long term side-effects from pain-killers (i.e. chronic gastric problems, internal bleeding, addiction and even death).
Unfortunately, the pain persisted in its severity and concerned about the side-effects of pain-killers, Dounne decided to seek spiritual guidance and through meditation was advised to brew 'White Willow Bark, St.John's Wort, Wild Yam, and Korean Ginseng (she later added Devil's Claw). After drinking 1 tablespoon 3 times daily, the sciatica and back-pain completely disappeared within the first week. Dounne initially felt she was cured, but noticed that the pain returned (although not as bad as before) - if she became stressed or had over-worked. This was a reminder that she still had a damaged spine and must take care not to over do things. Within a few months, she was walking confidently for over an hour, no longer needed the pillow and has been dancing the night away ever since. More surprisingly, she no longer needed to take the tea daily, as the pain relief sometimes last for months. Zara too, was back on her feet almost immediately, showing signs of less pain and stiffness. In short, their lives were changed for the better.
Dounne told this story to one of her customers who is a qualified Holistic Practitioner and he confirmed that 'White Willow Bark' has been used by Native Americans for over 2000 years for natural pain relief. It contains the same ingredient 'salicin' as is found in 'aspirin' which is a synthetic drug, but the willow is all natural and does not cause the same terrible side effects as pain-killers (qualifying the word KILLERS - because as he said - they not only kill-pain but could actually kill us). It is a well known fact that strong pain-killers like 'morphine' are used as a legal form of euthanasia to help the terminally ill die quickly. Medical reports later confirmed these facts. In June 2006, the Independent Newspaper and national television news reported that the long term use of strong pain-killers doubled our risk of heart attacks and strokes. Therefore, as Dounne already had a minor heart problem, if she had followed the doctors and specialists advice in 1995 (2 to 3 strong pain-killers every four hours), by now she could have been another death statistic.
British Medical Journal - 2004 report on 'painkillers'.
- 10,000 deaths each year.
- Costs the NHS £466 million each year.
Researchers at the University of Liverpool looked at 18,000 people admitted at two hospitals in Merseyside between November 2001 and April 2002. They found that one in 16 had been admitted because of an adverse reaction to painkillers and 28 patients had died. Reported in the British Medical Journal - the researchers said that the number of deaths could reach up to 10,000 a year. Many of those affected were taking 'aspirin and other painkillers', while others were taking 'blood thinning drugs such as 'warfarin'. The most common reaction to the drugs was internal bleeding. The researchers estimated that adverse drug reactions cost the National Health Service around £466 million a year.
2003: GIRL DIED FROM ASPIRIN.
A sixteen year old girl died after taking 'aspirin'. Doctors warned that children under 16 must not be given aspirin and advised the use of other painkillers. However, 2 years earlier, Doctors also warned that no one should take 'aspirin' on a long term basis, as it causes internal bleeding and is dangerous. But these are still being prescribed to people with heart and thrombosis problems.
2004: PANCREATIC CANCER IN WOMEN.
National television news reported that '2 aspirins' per day taken long term can increase risk of pancreatic cancer.
2005: BREAST CANCER.
Researchers in America reported that pain-killers showed an increased risk of breast cancer.
2006: HEART ATTACKS & STROKES.
British medical research confirmed that the long term use of strong pain-killers doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Yet still today, doctors recommend that the elderly take an aspirin daily to reduce the risk of Heart Disease.
HISTORY: As early as 200 B.C. Greek physician (Hippocrates) prescribed 'White Willow' (bark & leaves) to relieve pain and fever. This led to the development of one of its active ingredient 'salicin' which was reproduced into the synthetic drug 'Aspirin'.